He was my first style icon. My screen idol so to say. Well, nothing new here; he was all that and more to millions like me. But well, like for all other kids my age, he too was my 'Hero' in totality. There could be nobody else. I'd drive my mom crazy, asking her to buy me/stitch me those 'broom-like' bell-bots, after I first saw him - in Khoon Pasina (Though that was not his first action outing). I modelled all my 'manly' gestures after him: the way he ran his fingers through his hair, the way he stood hands on his hips, the way he frowned when he was disturbed, the way he grit his teeth and moved his jawline when angry, the way....well, the list could go on.
He was the man who changed the direction of action movies in Indian Cinema. He was the man who every guy secretly wished to be like. Girls swooned over his tall stance, his deep baritone, his smile, his ...everything. And guys did street-fights, watching him in Naseeb, or maybe...well, any of his movies in the 80s. Being macho, was being....Bachchan.
As I grew up and the veil gradually dropped off his larger than life image, I mulled over the kind of movies he'd always done his whole life. Action-packed, high voltage, the 'all-in-one' kind of movies - typical masala stuff. Nothing to write home about role-wise or content-wise, but for his superb acting. Of course, there were the few gems early on (Anand, Chupke chupke, Kabhi Kabhie, and then some..but countable). It was only later, much later in his career that he really started experimenting with roles. I think he did a true volte-face with Aankhen...or was it Aks?
Well, long story short (pun wasn't intended at all) - like any good old wine, he also has mellowed over the years, the sharp jawline has given way to a rather soft 'goatee-lined' chin, the crisp and well-defined baritone (remember the Kaalia, Deewar, and Shakti dialogues?) has given way to the somewhat aged and soft voice that is natural of any aging process. But he has acted in all kinds of roles ever since he stepped over to his 60s- serious, angry, sad, hilarious and so on. Oh, and even as a ghost and a genie.
And now life has come a full circle I guess. Tomorrow, he'll be introduced to the world as - a happy-go-lucky young boy. All of thirteen.
All the best, Mr. Bachchan. This time round I'll try (won't promise) to imitate that 'monkey-dance' you do so well in the promos. Haiin??